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Bengal polls: Bhangar tense after killing of Independent candidate's supporter

Kolkata, May 12 (IANS) The situation in West Bengal's Bhangar on Saturday remained tense ahead of May 14 panchayat election across the state, after a supporter of an Independent candidate for the rural polls was killed on Friday.

The police arrested local strongman of the ruling Trinamool Congress Arabul Islam on Friday late night and he was charged for attempting murder.

"Islam was produced before a district court on Saturday and he was remanded to police custody till May 22," the police said.

Soon after the death of the supporter, Hafizul Molla (26), hundreds of villagers in Bhangar started protesting demanding action against Arabul Islam and his aides. Agitators on Saturday vandalised house of an Islam's aide and set on fire many houses, though police said the situation was "under control".

In fact, stocks of crude bombs were spotted from a garden adjacent to the house of arrested Trinamool leader, villagers said.

Molla, a resident of Bhangar's Machibhanga in South 24 Parganas district, died on Friday after an armed attack on a political rally brought out by the "Jomi, Jibika, Bastutantra O Poribesh Raksha Committee" (committee to protect land, livelihood, ecology and environment), which has been leading a movement against the construction of a power grid sub-station in the area.

On Saturday, the committee members took out a rally in Central Kolkata in protest against the murder. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, along with several other Left Front leaders, took part in the rally.

Mishra held Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responsible for the murder.

State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh described Islam's arrest as an "eyewash".

Bhangar has been on the boil for over a year now on the issue of construction of the sub-station.

--IANS

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